Eric Lilavois has proved himself to be a man of many hats. His achievements and contributions to the music industry are vast and numerous. A few accomplishments to note: record producer, SXSW panelist, composer, talent buyer, recording artist and owner of two recording studios, to name a few. Eric has created, mixed, and influenced countless works and remains a highly influential producer in Southern California. Lilavois currently owns Crown City Studios in Pasadena, California and the renowned Seattle London Bridge Studio, in Washington.
How did you initially get involved in music production?
I was always fascinated by sound, I couldn’t fathom how all that emotion got on to that little spinning disc and I was dead set on finding out. When I started writing my own music and going into studios to record I was always the guy checking out every single piece of gear in the building and curious how it contributed to the sonic landscape. I had such a respect for recording engineers, and producers, they were magicians in my eyes. I played in a popular band and then my friends bands asked me to record them and it just went from there.
It must have been very exciting becoming a partner at London Bridge Studios, a place where you had previously recorded your own music. What was that experience like?
London Bridge Studio is an incredibly special place, so many iconic and legendary records were recorded there, Pearl Jam, Mother Love Bone, Soundgarden, Temple of the Dog, Alice in Chains, Blind Melon, Fleet Foxes… The list just goes on and on. You feel it when you walk in there. It’s an honor to be involved, and I’m deeply dedicated to preserving it’s history as well taking the studio into the future with my partners Geoff Ott and Jonathan Plum. We’re in the process of restoring the original 1970’s NEVE console that all of those records were recorded on, as well expanding, remodeling and revamping the studio to keep it intact for generations of musicians to come.
Your credentials and list of accomplishments are very impressive. What has been your best experience to date?
Saint Motel holds a special place, I produced a good part of their debut full length “Voyer”, we spent a really long time working together, and we recently did a cover of “A Quick One” by the Who for a tribute album from the music of Wes Anderson films that was just a blast. Working on the Acoustic version of “Trojans” with Atlas Genius stands out too. Keith and the guys are very present and we had a lot of fun geeking out together on gear and talking shop. Honestly though, each and every artist and session is memorable, even if some of those memories are, you know, hazy, haha!
You also record your own music. How would you describe your style?
I have a sound that is often characterized as Americana and folk with touches of rock.
My newest single is God in Our Glass and is a tribute to my close friend for over 20 years Ryan Hoherd, When you lose someone that suddenly, that close, you start thinking about all the missed calls, all the times you couldn’t make this thing or that. Suddenly it’s not, what would I do for another 5 years with this person, it’s what would I do for just one more hour. Ryan was a force, the life of the party, and an absolute prankster.
God in Our Glass listen link: https://soundcloud.com/londontonemusic52x52/eric-lilavois-god-in-our-glass
What would your advice be to upcoming artists trying to begin recording their own music?
Play your ass off, own your craft, your vision, and your art. Think about what inspires you, but don’t necessarily live strictly by the rules of your hero’s. Learn from them, but be mindful that they have different lives in different time zones. Be relentless, and don’t be afraid to surround yourself with people who are different then you musically, artistically, but make absolutely sure you surround yourself with people who share your desired destination, and are willing to work as hard as you to get there. Find people you respect and trust to work with, seek them out and once you do, actually trust them. There’s no use in working with a producer or A&R guy, studio or anyone else if you’re just going to revert to every old decision you would have made without them. At some point you need to say to yourself I’m working with this person in this place for a reason, and if you don’t believe that deep, deep down, then just don’t do it, do the other thing.
How can someone reading this interview get in touch with you to discuss a recording opportunity?
Email me at Eric@Ericlilavois.com I love to work with a myriad of bands and would love to hear from bands who are interested in working together.